Next Sunday is my 2nd Baxter Bass Snatcher tournament of the year being held on the Cullen Chain near Nisswa MN. I had the good fortune to draw Bill Bailey for my boater as he has a good history with these lakes. Bill was kind enough to agree to take me out for a day of fishing, so I could get a feel for these lakes that I had never seen before. I am extremely glad Bill took me out, because in a lot of ways it wasn't what I expected.
The Cullen Chain has pretty good to excellent water clarity and has diverse aquatic vegetation, but seemingly none of the troublesome invasive weeds. I really like the Chain as it has elements of Sylvia/Twin and Platte/Sullivan. Bill has a smaller boat so we are able to fish in all 3 lakes. I don't think guys with bigger boats can get into the upper most lake because of a narrow culvert with little headroom. Getting out of the lower most lake where we will launch is also a challenge. Bill had to get out of the boat this morning because we didn't take the right approach into the boat channel and ran aground.
I was pleasantly surprised by the fish size we discovered, although my first fish of the day didn't show it.
Shortly after this fish, I watched a 3lb+ largie engulf my lure. I couldn't make up my mind if I wanted to set the hook or not because I got such a good look at the fish as did Bill. I think the fish kind of stuck itself and I had it on for a few seconds before it got off. I got another good take shortly after that.
Next we went to a weedline and I experimented with a bait, but that was a bust. After that we ran to the Upper Lake, which turned into a pike fest for me. Bill had a follow from a big dogfish. I tried to catch it, but just spooked it. A little later on we were getting close to one of the clubs more mercurial club members and we saw him catch a fish. I thought it was a nice bass, but he told us it was a dogfish. I'm not sure I believe that.
Anyway we found some productive water and ended our time in the upper lake with a quality double. This was my fish (I think it was probably 16).
Next we went back to the middle lake. It was cloudy with a light breeze and I thought in that clear water topwater might go, so I started throwing a Paycheck Baits Repo Man. We fished some good looking stuff without so much as a sniff for either us, but I just kept chucking the topwater. Eventually I was rewarded with this 18"+ pig that just annihilated the Repo Man.
It was awesome. I knew it was a big fish immediately because it tail walked then jumped a couple of times. I was worried it was going to bury me in the weeds and get off, but it was hooked well and I was able to pull it out of the salad. Man I was jacked after this fish.
We fished a little while longer and I added one more quality bass to my day on something that not get any play on tournament day, but the color will.
Overall it was a very successful pre-fish. I was impressed with the size we discovered and it's a fun lake to fish with lots of options. My boater Bill is probably going to get out for one more trip.
I made a few stops on my way home. I jacked this 14.25" fish at Bulldog Lake.
And I jacked this 13" fish at Jenny's on Platte.
I had one more really good bite at Jenny's but I choked.
I did try the GOMH, but was blanked. John W. was there and told me he caught a very big jumpin bullhead from under the bridge the other day. Maybe I need to get a clue and start throwing stuff under the bridge like John does.